Mary's Little Donkey

And the Flight to Egypt

Gunhild Sehlin; Illustrated by Jan Verheijen; Translated by Hugh Latham and Donald Maclean

Out of print

Quick Look

The stubborn, dirty little donkey who is of no use to anyone in Nazareth becomes a quick and willing helper under Mary’s care, carrying her to Bethlehem and then to Egypt.

198 x 130 mm
Floris Books
Story Books & Anthologies
14 b/w illustrations
Age Range:
From 7 to 10 years
160 pages
Publication date:
01 Sep 1987
2nd edition


The stubborn, dirty little donkey who is of no use to anyone in Nazareth becomes a quick and willing helper under Mary’s care. The other animals in Mary's stable like him and together they wait for the birth of Mary's child.

But Mary and Joseph have to leave Nazareth obeying Caesar's decree, and the donkey carries Mary to Bethlehem where the child is born.
The donkey hopes to carry Mary and her son quickly back to Nazareth but instead they have to flee to far-away Egypt. Willingly, the donkey makes this journey through the desert. Only after a long time could they return home where the other animals in Mary's stable welcome them.

An engaging alternative to the traditional Christmas story, to be read to children age 6-8, or for children age 8-10 to read to themselves.


'This book is not just one of those to drag out for Christmas but could be read all year round.'
-- Dianc Cromic, Education Otherwise, Spring 2005

'Retells the birth of Jesus in a new and charming way. There is a touch of humour and an insight into the reality of the long journey. Can be enjoyed by children hearing it read aloud.'
-- Ruth Marguerite Alexander

'Our family read this story every advent for years. I divided the book into 24 parts, reading each one after we opened the next door of the advent calendar for that night. I still can't think of a better -- and simpler -- way to celebrate that time of year. You can begin your own tradition when your oldest child is about 4. Your younger children will be captivated by the interest of the eldest and can fully participate in this evening ritual.'
-- Bob and Nancy's Bookstore (


Gunhild Sehlin (1911-97) was a teacher in the south of Sweden, and then worked with disabled children in Jerusalem and Amman. Mary's Little Donkey has been translated into many different languages.

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